GAME: New Jersey Devils (33-20-11-1) at Florida Panthers (24-26-14-3).
TIME: Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. EST.
Mired in a three-game losing streak, the New Jersey Devils hope to get a
jolt from newly acquired Viktor Kozlov as they take on the center's former
team, the Florida Panthers.
On Monday, the Devils acquired the veteran from Florida in exchange for
forward Christian Berglund and defenseman Victor Uchevatov.
"Viktor Kozlov is a skilled two-way player who brings size and strength to
the center position on our hockey club," Devils president Lou Lamoriello said
of the 6-foot-5, 235-pound Russian.
Kozlov, 29, had 11 goals and 16 assists in 48 games with the Panthers. He
has played nine seasons in the NHL with San Jose and Florida, and is ranked
third on the Panthers' career list for goals, assists and power-play goals.
The Devils have slid down to sixth place in the Eastern Conference, just two
points ahead of the red-hot Montreal Canadiens, who bolstered their own lineup
Tuesday with the acquisition of Alexei Kovalev from the New York Rangers.
The Devils are heading into the third game of a five-game road trip and are
coming off 2-1 loss to the Canadiens on Monday.
Goalie Martin Brodeur lost his third straight start despite making 37 saves.
"I'm not used to having that many shots, but for the most part we played
well," Brodeur said. "I was seeing the puck really well. I gave up a few
rebounds, so they had second chances because of that."
The Panthers, meanwhile, are coming off 1-0 win over Washington on Tuesday.
Roberto Luongo stopped 29 shots for his fourth shutout in seven games, and
his team-record seventh of the season.
"Every game is important, but our last two against those guys we gave up a
lead," Luongo said. "We talked about it in the second period and we played
solid in the third."
The Panthers are in ninth place in the conference, eight points behind the
New York Islanders for the last playoff spot with 15 games to play.
STANDINGS: Devils - 78 points, 2nd place, 6 PB, Atlantic Division. Panthers
- 65 points, 2nd place, 19 PB, Southeast Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Devils - Patrik Elias, 28 goals and 59 points; Scott Gomez, 38
assists; Colin White, 75 PIM. Panthers - Olli Jokinen, 19 goals; Valeri Bure,
24 assists and 42 points; Darcy Hordichuk, 126 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through March 1): Devils - Power play: 15.6 percent (38 for
243), 18th in NHL. Penalty killing: 84.3 percent (188 for 223), 14th. Panthers
- Power play: 16.0 percent (38 for 237), 16th. Penalty killing: 85.6 percent
(250 for 292), 4th
GOALTENDERS: Devils - Brodeur (30-20-10, 10 SO, 2.04 GAA); Scott Clemmensen
(1-1-0, 1, 1.53). Panthers - Luongo (21-26-13, 7, 2.20); Steve Shields (3-3-1,
SEASON SERIES: Tied, 1-1.
LAST MEETING: Nov. 13; Devils, 3-1. At East Rutherford, N.J., Elias scored
on a power play to kick off a three-goal second period, as the Devils extended
their unbeaten streak to eight games.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Devils - 15-9-7-0 on the road; Panthers - 13-10-6-2 at